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Queens Chronicle

Straphangers ‘honor’ four Queens bus lines

Annual report cites slowest, least reliable routes in the five boroughs

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Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2018 10:30 am | Updated: 12:44 pm, Thu Aug 2, 2018.

The Q43 bus line, which operates between Jamaica and Floral Park, has been listed as the least reliable bus route in Queens in a set of annual “awards” given out by the New York Public Interest Group’s Straphangers Campaign.

All Queens routes mentioned in the report served Jamaica.

The Straphangers Campaign gave the Q43 a Schleppie Award, bestowed on lines where riders can wait at stops for long periods only to then have two or three buses arrive almost simultaneously.

The Straphangers, in the annual survey, found the Q43 to have bunched buses 17.2 percent of the time.

The group on Tuesday also bequethed its Pokey Awards to the slowest bus routes in the city. Top honors in that category went to the M42 in Manhattan with its average speed observed at a blazing 3.2 miles per hour.

No Queens buses finished the Pokey Award’s top 15, but the report did list the Q20A, which clocked in at 6.4 miles per hour on its runs between Jamaica and College Point, as the slowest in the borough.

The Q43 ranked seventh on the Schleppie list. The Q30, operating between Jamaica and Little Neck, tied for 12th place with Brooklyn’s B35 at 15.8 percent. The Q56, at 15 percent, finished 15th.

“Riding a bus can feel like being in a funeral procession, where you are awaiting a slow caravan of crowded, crawling and bunched buses,” Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign said in a statement issued by the organization. “It’s maddening. Much more can be done to make them run faster.”

“Bus riders in NYC are used to the stressful and frustrating experience of waiting for a bus that doesn’t arrive when it’s supposed to, only to show up bunched with two or three other buses,” said Tabitha Decker of TransitCenter in an accompanying statement. “Bus lanes, priority at traffic signals and better dispatching are needed to take these buses from schleppie to peppy.”

An NYC Transit spokesman said the agency’s new president is all too aware of what is needed.

“Improving bus service is the focus of the first major reform plan Transit President Andy Byford announced since starting the job this year,” according to a statement emailed by the agency. “His comprehensive Bus Plan prioritizes completely redesigning the entire bus network in collaboration with NYCDOT and the NYPD, who are critical partners we need to unclog traffic and allow us to deliver the world-class service that New Yorkers deserve and that our fleet and personnel are capable of delivering. The Bus Plan is well under way — a completely new Staten Island Express Bus network launches on August 19, and we’ve already begun working with the NYPD to improve enforcement.”

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